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New York Yankees: Weekend Pitching Match-ups Vs. Halos In Anaheim

The New York Yankees continue their West Coast road trip with a final series in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.

As of two seasons ago, facing the Halos anywhere was never a fun time for the Yankees or the New York fans, but times have change. This is not due to the Angels not being a solid ball-club, but more attributed to the Yankees not being scared of this team like they seemed to be in the past.

Still, this series features some hard hitters and noteworthy pitchers; here are the weekend’s match-ups as the Angels play host to the Yankees:

FRIDAY JUNE 3, 2011 – 10:05pm EST; YES, MLB.TV

Yankees Ivan Nova (4-3) vs. Angels Jared Weaver (6-4)

Yankees are expecting a better performance from Nova who is posting a 4.67 ERA. With Phil Hughes’ return looming, Nova knows he is pitching to keep the job he won out of Spring Training. Nova couldn’t get through four innings in his last outing, giving-up four earned runs to the Mariners, who are also meekest, line-up in baseball. Following that Yankee 12-inning loss, the other four Yankee starters all won their starts, each pitched through seven innings and combined for a 1.74 ERA. Nova is only 24- years-old and this is what young pitchers go through, but tiring out the bullpen and losing games is not productive. Let’s hope for a resurge from the kid.

Weaver was the hottest pitcher in baseball for the few weeks of 2011 season, posting a 6-0 record breaking Randy Johnson’s 2002 for most consecutive wins to start a season. In his succeeding six starts, Weaver has hit a career slump going 0-4. Still, the Angels have not been giving any run support, as in Weaver’s last start he threw nine-innings of two-hit baseball. He seems to be pitching up to par again, but until Vernon Wells and the team’s leading hitter Howie Kendrick are healthy the line-up will suffer. Kendrick is looking to be activated this Saturday, so Weaver will have to deal without his bat unfortunately. Weaver will have to be on target facing Curtis Granderson has made 14 at-bats, with four RBIs, four solo homers off and posts a .429 batting average against the Angels ace.

*SATURDAY JUNE 4, 2011 – 9:05pm EST; YES, MLBN, MLB.TV

Yankees CC Sabathia (6-3) vs. Angels Dan Haren (5-3)

In his last three starts, Sabathia has pitched 25 innings in total and posts a 1.80 ERA. Sabathia always starts out the season slow, but now he has found his groove. Sabathia is looking to win his fourth straight start and seventh on the season. He has gone eight or more innings for the Yankees in his last four times on the bump and that is why he is the ace of this staff.

Sports Illustrated reports that Haren suffered back stiffness this past Wednesday, mid-bullpen session and as of now is still scheduled to make his start vs. Sabathia on Saturday. Haren, like Weaver has been hung out to dry and not getting any help from the Angel bats. With Kendrick made active prior to this game, Haren might just finally get that help. Keep an eye out regarding Haren’s status.

SUNDAY JUNE 5, 2011 – 3:35pm EST; YES, MLB.TV

Yankees Bartolo Colon (3-3) vs. Ervin Santana (3-4)

Colon threw a shutout, complete game in his last start. Colon will be looking to continue his impressive revival on Sunday afternoon facing his old team, as Colon won the 2005 CY Young Award with the Halos and spent the majority of his career in Anaheim. The last time Colon faced his old peers was back in 2009, but he beat them and threw just shy of seven innings but held the Halos to just one-run.

Santana will have his hand full with the heavy-hitting Bombers, but he has improved vastly since his awful start to the 2011 season. Santana boosts a 3.56 ERA at-home compared to 5+ on the road, so he is happy to be back home. Following a complete game shutout against the Braves, Santana’s last start vs. the Royals was a mess, giving up six earned runs and two homers. He walked away with the win because the Angels offense did wake-up up by scoring 10 runs. This 28-year-old has a deadly slider and when he it is on, with his solid fastball he can be lethal for any clubs bats.

*injury-watch

 

 

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Major League Baseball’s Biggest Moment A Year Later

One out away from throwing a perfect game; one out for a pitcher to reach an individual milestone and be a lock to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

An easy out at first, and the call is S-A-F-E.

The call was wrong and the perfect game will not be on your resume, your name will not be etched in baseball history anymore and it was all because of a human error by an umpire who thought he got it right.

That was what happened on June 2, 2010 at Comerica Park between Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce, but it is what happened after that made this such a great moment for the game of baseball.

Two gentlemen, who displayed such passion for getting it right but such sportsmanship because in reality no one gets it right most of the time.

As bad of a call as Joyce made, it was a great day because it sent the right message and that doesn’t happen all that much anymore-in sports.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez Seriously Are You A Moron?

New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez’s lapse in off-the-field drama didn’t last too long, as not one but two stories have emerged over the last week.

The first is innocent gossip, but the second one I promise is very disappointing.

HEARTBREAKER:

Over on one of gossip guru Perez Hilton’s websites it has been reported that A-rod and his latest celebrity blonde girlfriend, Cameron Diaz have officially parted ways.

The couple actually seemed pretty serious in the off-season, and Diaz was just as entranced as Kate Hudson by A-rod.  I am guessing if there is any truth behind this once again A-rod was the heart-breaker.

Another bites the dust, as A-rod magic spell over A-list actresses and pop-stars is somewhat of a mystery to me. I get the whole bedroom part, but the one common ground all the relationships have is that it is A-rod’s way or bust.

This hasn’t affected A-rod’s performance what so ever. Even though A-rod’s bat might not be hitting balls out of the park, he is certainly scoring runners on base and that works for me.

NOT COUSIN YURI AGAIN:

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” –the great Lou Holtz

A-rod might be good with the ladies, but I am sincerely questioning his discernment here.

Remember back in 2009, when A-rod got busted for past use of PEDs?

I mean how could you forget when A-rod came forward with the ‘real story’. It introduced us to his cousin Yuri Sucart who was the bad guy that acquired and administered the steroids to A-rod from 2001-03.

As you can imagine, Cousin Yuri was not a popular guy after that. In turn, the Yankees and MLB had Cousin Yuri banned from all non-public team areas, clubhouses, team transportation etc. Basically it sent a message to stay the hell away.

So, understand why I found it so disturbing when the NY Daily News reported that Cousin Yuri was seen in the team’s hotels out west this past week, and that he has been traveling with A-rod on some road trips.

One would think that A-rod would be a little smarter than to have anyone connected to his juicing years around at all. Especially during the baseball season as anyone with a half-a-brain recognizes what kind-of distracting and unnecessary attention it would bring.

That is except for A-rod himself because if he were smart he would either have cut ties with Cousin Yuri or kept their time spent to holidays and family gatherings only.

Cousin Yuri should not even be wearing a baseball hat after his dear younger cousin threw him under the bus so easily.

Family or not this kind of crap does not, and should not be in the press at all.

I find A-rod’s judgment on this not only dumb, but also extremely ill mannered to baseball, his teammates and Yankee fans.

Trusting him again has been hard enough already, but in typical A-rod fashion he has to do the one thing that makes everyone question him again.

Honestly, A-rod needs to take his head out of his behind and get a grip on his personal life because the moment it shows on the field it will spell TROUBLE and big time!

I am keeping my fingers cross in respects to this one, but as Albert Einstein once said:

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

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New York Yankees: Bartolo Colon Raises Questions Not Applause

Long gone are the days that a comeback story is one filled with admiration and leaving you with hope that anything is possible.

This is not just in baseball or sports, but also in anything these days as suspicion is taking over as our immediate reactions.

In baseball, there are plenty of reasons as to why everyone from the media to fans to players question any type of resurgence or sudden talent.

What else could be expected when the line between what was legal and what wasn’t regarding performance-enhancing substances was overlooked for so long? It was selfish and greedy, which coincides with everything else that involves making more money.

It is unfortunate as the affects from ignoring the ‘cheating’ have now hurt baseball’s reputation as America’s Pastime because now there is an asterisk.

So, after watching New York Yankees Bartolo Colon throw a complete game, shutout this past week against the Oakland Athletics, the questions pertaining how the hell he did it are getting attention again.

Just read Bob Klapisch’s latest article Bartolo Colon’s treatments inject controversy into his comeback. Klapisch might as well just accuse Colon of using HGH because it is hard to read where he didn’t insinuate it.

Maybe that is because in Colon’s case not shred of evidence has proven he is lying, actually all that has come out has backed up Colon’s words.

Just a note…. in my opinion concerning Jose Bautista’s “story” there are a lot more questions. Bautista has never shown a shred of a talent, not even the slightest bit to allow for anyone to comprehend his newly found skills. I am not saying Bautista is cheating or ever did, but the difference here is it came out-of-the-blue.

MY STORY:

In Colon’s defense, I am familiar with this procedure as I had surgery to repair my right elbow a little over a year ago.

Months prior and after over a year of all kinds of physical therapy, it was determined that surgery would be done and my father suggested Colon’s procedure.

My doctor, who is one of the most renowned in the country, said it was relatively new and had only been done to a few pro-athletes. He went on to say the procedure needed more fine-tuning. He agreed that my father was completely correct regarding its success, but it was a hit or miss meaning it either worked or didn’t.

In my case, actual surgery had better odds to repair my damage and torn elbow tendon. He certainly warned me that this type of injury that any surgery is avoided at all costs and is only done on 1% suffering from elbow issues.

Whether HGH was used or not was not mentioned, but the doctor did say the stem-cell injections could be the technique of the future.

The point is that this procedure is not coming out of left field at all since it was brought to my father’s attention two years ago. How he learned about it, I don’t know but I know he thinks anytime you can avoid going under the knife is worth asking about.

COLON’S SITUATION:

Colon is 37-years-old and the 2005 CY Young winner hasn’t looked this good in a years. As far as everyone knew Colon was finished because his overused pitching-arm was just that, worn out. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Bartolo Colon Raises Questions Not Applause’ »

Lady Loves Pinstripes: 2011 MLB May Monthly Power Rankings

With one-third of the 2011 MLB season under their belts, how did your team stack-up in the moth of May?

The hottest team was without question the Arizona Diamondbacks; while the biggest losers on the list goes to the Colorado Rockies.

Agree or disagree? Please feel free to share with a comment below.

LAST MONTH MLB TEAM THIS MONTH COMMENTS? REASONS WHY?
1 Philadelphia Phillies 1 Utley is back and Hamels is partying like it’s 2008.
4 St. Louis Cardinals 2 Crazy that the Cards are 2-9 when Chris Carpenter’s on the bump and win without Matt Holliday.
2 New York Yankees 3 Wait ESPN experts said the Yankees would stink…. Guess the meant stinking good. Tex is hot, hot, hot…but so is Grandy.
13 Boston Red Sox 4 Finally, team is winning and Crawford wins the AL Player of the Week. 45 of 45 ESPN Experts picked Red Sox as the best team, but still not quite there yet.
6 Florida Marlins 5 Season rests on Hanley Ramirez’s stiff back, but a bettered team with a big future.
10 Milwaukee Brewers 6 Here come the Brew-Crew and I am hoping on this bandwagon.
15 Atlanta Braves 7 If this team gets a big bat, watch out.
24 Arizona Diamondbacks 8 Yes, it does feel nice to be the best team in the AL West. Loving JJ Putz too.
8 Cleveland Indians 9 Reality bites and poor Cleveland fans seeing Indian players’ wearing LeBron jerseys pre-game….not good.
5 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10 Can’t wait for Kendrick and Wells to return.
7 Texas Rangers 11 Better win games before Josh Hamilton goes on the DL again.
11 Cincinnati Reds 12 Jay Bruce, welcome to the gun show with 12 HRs, 32 RBIs and is batting just under .350 for the month of May.
12 Tampa Bay Rays 13 Feasted on the bad teams for long enough and question is can the Rays hang with the +.500 teams.
9 Detroit Tigers 14 Ah-oh here come the White Sox.
16 San Francisco Giants 15 Posey loss will start to show the reigning champs weaknesses; skipper Brian Bochy is team’s best catching option. SOS Sandoval.
25 Chicago White Sox 16 Bats are officially hitting; let the climb to the top of the AL Central begin.
29 Seattle Mariners 17 Hitting might not matter now, but Figgins, Smoak and Ichiro need to start to contribute or Mariners will fall fast.
19 Toronto Blue Jays 18 Bautista is a one-man wrecking crew.
17 Kansas City Royals 19 Closer Joakim Sori can’t close and that will sting.
3 Colorado Rockies 20 Jorge De La Rosa needs Tommy John and rotation needs some help.
21 Baltimore Orioles 21 Still hanging in last place; but not like before as the O’s remain in the AL East hunt.
20 Oakland Athletics 22 Starters have best ERA in baseball with 2.88 ERA, but you wouldn’t know it with the Yankees in town.
22 New York Mets 23 Jose Reyes is an awesome baseball player, who the Mets want to trade or if not let him walk at the end of 2011. Dumb.
26 Pittsburgh Pirates 24 April showers brought May flowers, as the Pirates ship is not sunk yet.
18 Chicago Cubs 25 Not this year Cubs fans.
14 Los Angeles Dodgers 26 The best bullpen on the DL in all of baseball.
23 Washington Nationals 27 Jayson Werth is trying to jump start a team without a spark, as he listens to “Goin’ Back to Philadelphia, PA” on his ipod.
27 San Diego Padres 28 A-Gone all the hitting to Boston and Padres feeling it.
30 Houston Astros 29 New owners want their money back please.
28 Minnesota Twins 30 Keep blaming it on Joe Mauer, who is the most overrated and overpaid player in baseball.
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What Should The New York Yankees Do With Phil Hughes?

New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes has been on the DL for the majority of the 2011 season.

Everything from Thoratic Outlet Syndrome to being over-worked to having a dead arm was speculated as the reason for the 24-year-olds drop in velocity.

After numerous tests and really no definitive answers, Hughes was put on the 60-day DL and on a throwing program targeting to build up his arm strength.

Hughes is throwing bullpen sessions and is expected to face live batters shortly; and according to a tweet from Marc Craig of the Star Ledger skipper Joe Girardi stated that Hughes could return prior to the All-Star break.

So, what am I getting at?

Filling in for Hughes has been veteran Bartolo Colon, whom baseball fans have witnessed do a stellar job.

Colon is not leaving the rotation, as he just through a complete game against the Oakland A’s and is becoming a solid and reliable starter that the Yankees now lean on.

Without question Hughes is not going to de-thrown Colon, nor should he knock out Freddy Garcia or Ivan Nova.

Hughes was never that great of a starter even in his heyday at the start of 2010. He got a ton of run support during his All-Star run, but we watched him slowly fall post All-Star break and then completely collapse earlier this season.

The Yankees cannot afford to give Hughes a few ‘test’ starts because the AL East is the most competitive it has ever been and that means avoiding losses.

I like Hughes, but it is hard to forget his three starts this season, where he went 0-1, posting a 13.94 ERA, giving up four home-runs, 16 earned runs and that was in just 10 innings pitched. He never made it through four innings and batters were feasting in every pitch.

So, what is my Hughes solution?

Any Yankee fan should know Hughes was most productive coming out of the bullpen. Continue reading ‘What Should The New York Yankees Do With Phil Hughes?’ »